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Illegitimate

* House of Sforza- Pesaro
Pesaro
(extinct in 1519) * House of Sforza- Cotignola (extinct in 1624) * House of Sforza-Cesarini

The HOUSE OF SFORZA (pronounced ) was a ruling family of Renaissance Italy
Italy
, based in Milan
Milan
. They acquired the Duchy of Milan
Milan
from the previously-ruling Visconti family in the mid-15th century, and lost it to the Spanish Habsburgs about a century later.

CONTENTS

* 1 History * 2 Sforza rulers of Duchy of Milan
Milan
* 3 Sforza rulers of Pesaro
Pesaro
and Gradara * 4 Sforza family tree * 5 Notable members * 6 In popular culture * 7 See also * 8 References

HISTORY

A miniature of Muzio Attendolo , fifteenth century

Rising from rural nobility of Lombardy
Lombardy
, the Sforza family became condottieri and used this military position to become rulers in Milan. The family governed by force, ruse, and power politics, similar to the Medici
Medici
in Florence . Under their rule, the city-state flourished and expanded.

Muzio Attendolo (1369–1424), called Sforza (from sforzare, to exert or force), founded the dynasty. A condottiero from Romagna
Romagna
, he served the Angevin kings of Naples
Naples
and became the most successful dynast of the condottieri .

His son Francesco I Sforza ruled Milan, having acquired the title of Duke of Milan
Duke of Milan
(1450–1466) after the extinction of the Visconti family in 1447.

The family also held the seigniory of Pesaro
Pesaro
, starting from Muzio Attendolo's second son, Alessandro (1409–1473). The Sforza held Pesaro
Pesaro
until 1519, with the death of Galeazzo .

Muzio's third son, Bosio (1411–1476), founded the branch of Santa Fiora , who held the title of count of Cotignola ; the Sforza ruled the small county of Santa Fiora in southern Tuscany
Tuscany
until 1624. Members of this family also held important ecclesiastical and political positions in the Papal States
Papal States
, and moved to Rome in 1674, taking the name of Sforza Cesarini.

The Sforza became allied with the Borgia
Borgia
family through the arranged marriage (1493–1497) between Lucrezia Borgia
Borgia
and Giovanni (the illegitimate son of Costanzo I of Pesaro
Pesaro
). This alliance failed, as the Borgia
Borgia
family annulled the marriage once the Sforza family were no longer needed.

In 1499, in the course of the Italian Wars
Italian Wars
, the army of Louis XII of France
France
took Milan
Milan
from Ludovico Sforza
Ludovico Sforza
(known as Ludovico il Moro, famous for taking Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci
into his service).

After Imperial German troops drove out the French , Maximilian Sforza , son of Ludovico, became Duke of Milan
Duke of Milan
(1512–1515) until the French returned under Francis I of France
France
and imprisoned him.

SFORZA RULERS OF DUCHY OF MILAN

Map of Italy
Italy
in 1494. Insert shows the Duchy of Milan
Milan
ruled by the Visconti family and inherited by the Sforzas.

* Francesco I 1450–1466 * Galeazzo Maria 1466–1476 * Gian Galeazzo 1476–1494 * Ludovico 1494–1499 * Ludovico (restored) 1500 * Massimiliano 1512–1515 * Francesco II 1521–1535

SFORZA RULERS OF PESARO AND GRADARA

* Alessandro * Costanzo I * Giovanni * Costanzo II * Galeazzo

SFORZA FAMILY TREE

* Muzio Sforza
Muzio Sforza
with mistress Lucia da Torsano had 7 illegitimate sons

* son Francesco I Sforza married Bianca Maria Visconti
Bianca Maria Visconti

* son Galeazzo Maria Sforza
Galeazzo Maria Sforza
mistress Lucrezia Landriani

* daughter Bianca Maria (1472–1510), second wife of Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I

* son Gian Galeazzo (1469–1494), married Isabella of Naples

* son Francesco (II) , nominally duke under the regency of Ludovico Maria * daughter Bona (1494–1557), second wife of King Sigismund I of Poland * daughter Ippolita Maria Sforza
Ippolita Maria Sforza
(1493–1501)

* illegitimate daughter Caterina Sforza married Giovanni de\' Medici
Medici
il Popolano

* son Ludovico il Moro (the Moor) (1451–1508)

* son Ercole Massimiliano * son Francesco II (III) Maria * illegitimate daughter Bianca Sforza {1483–1496} married to Galeazzo Sanseverino * illegitimate son Giovanni Paolo I (1497–1535), marquess of Caravaggio

* son Ascanio (1444–1505), Cardinal * daughter Ippolita Maria (1446–1484), married king of Alfonso II d\'Aragon of Naples
Naples

* son Alessandro , first lord of Pesaro
Pesaro

* son Costanzo I * son Galeazzo , last Sforza ruler of Pesaro

* son Giovanni (1466–1510), first husband of Lucrezia Borgia
Borgia

* son Costanzo II (Giovanni Maria)

* Bosio (count of Cotignola, lord of Castell\'Arquato )

NOTABLE MEMBERS

NAME PORTRAIT RELATIONSHIP TO THE HOUSE OF SFORZA

Muzio Attendolo

Founder of the House of Sforza

Francesco Sforza
Francesco Sforza

Son of Muzio Attendolo , first Sforza ruler of Milan
Milan

Bianca Maria Visconti
Bianca Maria Visconti

Wife of Francesco I Sforza

Galeazzo Maria Sforza
Galeazzo Maria Sforza

Son of Francesco I Sforza and Bianca Maria Visconti
Bianca Maria Visconti
, Duke of Milan

Gian Galeazzo Sforza

Son of Galeazzo Maria Sforza
Galeazzo Maria Sforza

Bona Sforza
Bona Sforza

Daughter of Gian Galeazzo Sforza and Queen of Kingdom of Poland and Grand Princess of Grand Duchy of Lithuania , as the wife of Sigismund I the Old
Sigismund I the Old
, King of Kingdom of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania
Grand Duke of Lithuania

Bianca Maria Sforza

Daughter of Galeazzo Maria Sforza
Galeazzo Maria Sforza
and Holy Roman Empress, as the wife of Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor
Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor

Anna Sforza

Daughter of Galeazzo Maria Sforza
Galeazzo Maria Sforza
and wife of Alfonso I d\'Este Her successor would be the infamous Lucrezia Borgia
Borgia

Caterina Sforza

Illegitimate daughter of Galeazzo Maria Sforza
Galeazzo Maria Sforza
, Duke of Milan

Ludovico Sforza
Ludovico Sforza

Son of Francesco I Sforza and Bianca Maria Visconti
Bianca Maria Visconti
, Duke of Milan

Beatrice d\'Este

Wife of Ludovico Sforza
Ludovico Sforza

Maximilian Sforza

Son of Ludovico Sforza
Ludovico Sforza
, Duke of Milan

Francesco II Sforza

Son of Ludovico Sforza
Ludovico Sforza
, Duke of Milan

Giovanni Paolo I Sforza

Illegitimate son of Ludovico Sforza
Ludovico Sforza
, first Marquess of Caravaggio

IN POPULAR CULTURE

* One of the cursed artifacts from Friday the 13th: The Series was the "Sforza Glove", attributed to the original family's possession. * Thomas Harris
Thomas Harris
's character Hannibal Lecter is a descendant of the House of Sforza. * In the anime, manga and book series Trinity Blood , one of the Cardinals and Duchess of Milan
Milan
is named Caterina Sforza . * Caterina Sforza appears as a non-playable character in the video game Assassin\'s Creed 2 and its sequel, Assassin\'s Creed: Brotherhood . * The Sforza figure prominently in the Showtime series on the Borgia family. * The house is mentioned in a song about the Borgia
Borgia
Family in the British edutainment TV show Horrible Histories .

SEE ALSO

Wikimedia Commons has media related to HOUSE OF SFORZA .

* List of rulers of Milan
Milan
* Gradara * House of Visconti * Italian Wars
Italian Wars
* Pesaro
Pesaro

REFERENCES

* ^ "La Signoria degli Sforza". Gradara.com. Retrieved 2013-04-23. * ^ http://www.britannica.com/biography/Sigismund-I-king-of-Poland

* v * t * e

Royal houses of Europe

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House of Basarab
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Movilești
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UKRAINE

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Gediminids
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1 Transcontinental country . 2 Entirely in Southwest Asia
Asia
but having socio-political connections with Europe.

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House of Pomerania
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Samborides
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* Poniatowski

After partitions:

* Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov Kingdom of Poland * Habsburg Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria * Wettin Duchy of Warsaw * Lefebvre Duchy of Gdańsk * Hohenzollern Duchy of Poznań